|4||110 in the Underpass||3:51|
Waveshaper Media presents Electron Music, a new CD-EP by former Pere Ubu synthesist and electronic music trailblazer, Allen Ravenstine, the first release in Raventine’s new Tyranny of Fiction series. Waveshaper Media first came into contact with Ravenstine when we interviewed him in 2012 for our modular synthesizer documentary I Dream Of Wires.
For those in the know, Allen Ravenstine has been one of the most creative synthesizer players of the past forty-plus years. Ravenstine started out in the mid-1970s experimenting in his Cleveland apartment with an analogue EML 200 synthesizer, eventually creating a piece in 1975 that became known as Terminal Drive. While he had no intention of releasing his compositions, word got out about the kind of sounds he was experimenting with, leading to an invitation to join pioneering “avant garage” group Pere Ubu. He soon joined them full-time, bringing to the band’s sound unpredictable textures, effects, bleeps, squalls, pulsating washes of sound — whatever he felt could enhance the soundscape of the band’s performances and recordings.
Ravenstine left Pere Ubu in the early 1990s, opting to forego music altogether to make his living as an airplane pilot. His music career remained in limbo until 2012, when an interview for the I Dream Of Wires documentary, alongside Robert Wheeler who had succeeded him as Pere Ubu’s synthesist, turned into a recording session for the duo, leading to a series of collaborative releases. As well as having his 1975 Terminal Drive recordings released to great acclaim in 2017, Ravenstine has been prolific in recent years.
Electron Music brings together five of the prodigious composer’s most recent lyrical and abstract compositions collectively comprised of the sounds of analogue and digital synthesizers, traditional acoustic instruments and the sampled sounds of birds, dogs and other artifacts of nature. Working prodigiously on a daily basis, over the past two years Ravenstine has amassed a large number of atmospheric recordings that he has intuitively aggregated into groups of five pieces each. The first five recordings make up Electron Music, a stunningly mature work that provides new and surprising sonic rewards with each and every listen.
The EP contains 5 songs on CD, accompanied in the liner notes by a short evocative piece of prose by Ravenstine that, while not having a direct linear connection to the recordings, conjures up images that intuitively relate to the disparate soundscapes found in the recordings.